For years privacy advocates have urged regulators to set standards regarding the scope of personal information collected by Internet companies, the time they’re allowed to keep it, and the use of such data to serve ads.
The Future of Privacy Forum has asked the Big O to task a chief privacy officer who could formulate such policies, while the Center for Digital Democracy and US PIRG want the FTC to examine consumer privacy-threatening mobile marketing practices.
Then there’s the matter of how the government should handle data falling into its lap from people trying to friend the Big O on Facebook and government Web site visitors.
Polonetsky told the Washington Post that many countries in the EU as well as Canada and Argentina have appointed privacy czars, but the US doesn’t “have someone in charge.”
During the campaign, the Big O said he’d appoint a Cyber Czar, but that was in the context of discussions regarding cyber attacks and national security. It’s not clear this person will oversee Internet privacy.
And Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, scoffed at the notion of a privacy czar.
“We don’t need someone at the White House urging the industry to behave better,” he said. “Obama has called for a new era of regulatory scrutiny. Does that include online advertising and data collection?”